Don’t Despair, Repair! ($36)
I decided to try the Don’t Despair, Repair! mask (click here) in the form of this deep conditioning system because I liked the convenience of a shower cap and treatment session all in one. It comes with four kits. As soon as I opened up my first mask and cap packet, however, I was immediately overwhelmed by the fragrance- which is no surprise as I have tried the mask already by itself and had the same experience (I first mentioned this product in my hair journey review). This time around was much worse for me since I had to leave it on for half an hour- by the time I washed it off, I was in a frenzy. It’s not a displeasing smell per say, it’s not like you are smelling cayenne pepper the whole time, it’s just very overwhelming. I love strong scents, and nature is filled with them, but when the scent of a product gives me an issue I start to question its source.
I could not find this statement on Briogeo’s actual website, but through Safe & Chic under the “Ingredients” list of each Briogeo product, you can find the following (click here for more info):
Briogeo uses a combination of natural and non-natural fragrances. The non-natural fragrance component is non-GMO, non-toxic, and does not contain any ingredient listed on the California Prop 65 list of ingredients known to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity. In addition, no Briogeo fragrance contains any of the following ingredients: Animal fats, oils, and musks, benzalkonium chloride, benzophenone, bisphenol A(BPA), butoxyethanol, coal tar hair dyes and other coal tar ingredients, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, ethanolamines, formaldehyde, hydroquinone, methyl cello solve, methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone, mercury and mercury compounds (also listed as Thimerosal), mineral oil, oxybenzone, parabens, polyethylene glycol, phthalates, resorcinol, retinyl palmitate, sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureate sulfate, toluene, triclosan, or triclocarban.
The brand is very good in explaining their ingredients and why they choose to leave out negative selections such as sulfates in their product line up, yet when I decided to take a closer look for fragrance I found this statement which didn’t seem to line up with that of Safe & Chic:
Artificial fragrances and artificial dyes are often made from chemicals that are easily absorbed into the body and can be toxic at certain levels. Given the volatility and inconsistency of many artificial fragrances, the different levels of risk can vary. We at Briogeo are quite fond of the many amazing fragrances created by mother nature herself and have opted to experiment with different natural fragrance blends (like ylang flower oil and papaya fruit extract!) to create the unique scents found in all of our products. We also avoid using artificial dyes to tint our products and instead allow the natural color of our ingredients to shine through our transparent bottles!
So is it all-natural fragrance or a mix? I decided to e-mail them directly to find out. Here is the response I was sent:
This lines up! The fifth paragraph is indeed the same as I had found on Safe & Chic. Again this transparency illustrates how genuinely meticulous they are about what they decide to include in their products, however fragrance is a complicated matter (as I’m learning about while reading “The Case Against Fragrance.”) It could be the combination of fragrance chemicals are an allergen to me, but in any case, this may not be an issue for everyone. In fact I can imagine many people loving the fruity, bright scent. As I know there are others like me who are sensitive to fragrance and because I know how awful it can be, I’m sharing these details since it could possibly result in the same effect. Try a sample first if this is the case for you!
As for the performance of the product, my hair did indeed feel nice and soft afterwards, but as I have stated before, I prefer the subtle, natural fragrance and performance of Josh Rosebrook’s Enrich mask to this. That mask is top-notch for my damaged hair and yet unmatched in its overall performance. The other 2 products I have tried from the Briogeo line- Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo and Avocado and Quinoa Co-Wash Cleanser- are much more subtle in scent and I enjoy using them, I’m especially obsessed with the shampoo.
L’Huile by Jordan Seban ($48)
Even though I cut my hair and my healthy hair is finally growing out, my ends are still very, very damaged from going platinum over a year ago. L’huile by Jordan Seban (click here) is a thick oil, something I didn’t expect to prefer, but I am really loving it. It’s a pure blend of seven organic oils sourced from places such as Morocco, Kenya, India, Israel and Mexico. When I inquired about their ingredients and fragrance, I was sent the following statement: “L’Huile is 100% natural and all of the ingredients are certified organic, including the ‘fragrance oil’.” Thus there are no synthetic fragrance additives! You can use the oil as a serum, heat-protector, or a pre-shampoo treatment. Even though I had never done this before, I started to apply it onto my hair (especially my ends) every time before I washed my hair. I’ve stuck with using it as a pre-shampoo treatment ever since!
We may not be able to reverse hair damage, but we can “conceal” the damage. I love this article by Josh Rosebrook and recommend it (click here) as it discusses this topic; here is an excerpt:
Brittle locks can be softened and made to appear less damaged by using natural oils and humectants. All of this temporarily smoothes and seals down the cuticle and creates the appearance of healthy looking hair. Dry/damaged hair can be properly rehydrated and softened temporarily by penetrating plant oils and locking in moisture with such oils as almond, marula, coconut, hemp, jojoba, tamanu, evening primrose, apricot and argan. All of these treatments are preventive for accelerating damage if the hair is “dry” damaged – if the hair is “damaged” it can be concealed but it’s damaged, the cuticles are raised and broken and it won’t hold moisture effectively.
My hair is definitely brittle, thus why L’huille Oil works so well for me with its penetrating oils. In another article to note (click here if interested), Josh mentions how “All hair Protein conditioning treatments and hydrating, moisture hair conditioning treatments must be applied regularly to continually experience the benefits, as they gradually rinse off.” This is important to know- you can’t get away with a one-time application of your hair masks, oils, creams and expect soft hair for a long period of time- it takes continual usage! Using L’huile continuously has made my hair more manageable and I’m very satisfied with the product. Nothing beats cutting my damaged hair directly, but hey at least we can fake it until we make it! That’s where good hair products such as this come in.